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Setback to Mamata as SC junks plea on Sandeshkhali

Bengal BJP leaders exulted as the Supreme Court today dismissed a plea by the Mamata Banerjee Ggovernment against transferring Sandeshkhali cases to the CBI. Reacting to the news of the SC upholding the Calcutta High Court decision to transfer all Sandeshkhali cases to the CBI, Bengal BJP leader Agnimitra Paul said: “Today, the TMC Government […]

Bengal BJP leaders exulted as the Supreme Court today dismissed a plea by the Mamata Banerjee Ggovernment against transferring Sandeshkhali cases to the CBI. Reacting to the news of the SC upholding the Calcutta High Court decision to transfer all Sandeshkhali cases to the CBI, Bengal BJP leader Agnimitra Paul said: “Today, the TMC Government was once again left red-faced in the Supreme Court. The court directly asked the Mamata Government that why were they desperate to save the mastermind criminal Shiekh Shahjahan who is directly responsible for countless rape and molestation of several women in Sandeshkhali.”

The Mamata government has always used women to create her own way to the top of her political empire and she is still continuing to ignore the plight of women for her own personal agenda, she said, adding that “as a woman I am ashamed, angry and dismayed seeing the plight of my mothers and sisters of the State. Shame Mamata Banerjee! Shame!”

BJP leader and lawyer Priyanka Tibrewal, who had submitted 700-odd affidavits of women of Sandeshkhali to the High Court, said: “This is a tight slap for the Mamata Banerjee government. It is now clear about how Mamata Banerjee gives shelter to goons like Sheikh Shahjahan in order to get votes. When I submitted the affidavits detailing the torture faced by the women before the high court, the Trinamool ecosystem went all-out to discredit them.”

Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court bench of Justices BR Gavai and KV Viswanathan heard the West Bengal Government’s petition and came down heavily on the State, asking why it was “interested in protecting an individual” while referring to Sheikh Shahjahan. It dismissed the West Bengal government’s petition challenging the Calcutta High Court’s order to transfer all 42 FIRs related to the ration scam and the Sandeshkhali sexual harassment and land grabbing case to the Central Bureau of Investigation.

While hearing the plea on April 29 also, the apex court asked the West Bengal Government as to why the State should come in as a petitioner for “protecting the interest” of some private individuals.

In its plea before the apex court, the State Government said the High Court’s order had demoralised the entire State machinery, including the police force.

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for West Bengal, had dubbed the High Court order as perverse, illegal, and arbitrary which deserves to be set aside.

He said the Sandeshkhali issue should not be blown out of proportion due to political reasons. Singhvi said the Calcutta High Court order sought to cover not only incidents of sexual assault and land-grabbing but also other cases such as the ration distribution scam. To this, Justice Gavai came down heavily and said the State Government “did not do anything for months”.

In April, the Calcutta High Court had ordered a court-monitored CBI probe into the allegations against Sheikh Shahjahan and investigate all cases registered against the suspended Trinamool Congress leader and his aides.

During today’s hearing, the Supreme Court said the High Court’s observations would not come in the way of trial.

Trinamool spokesperson Santanu Sen said: “We do not need to learn how to treat women from the BJP which had tortured Bilkis Bano in Gujarat after Godhra. Had the Trinamool Congress been so bad, then we would not be getting the support of the majority of the women of the State, time and time again.”

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Mamata BanerjeeSandeshkhaliTDGThe Daily Guardian